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Fun series, Brian! Itīs really great when you can examine them so close.
I have got similar experiences often with Ophiogomphus cecilia, they are perching on top of the head, hand, camera, tripod legs, shoulders, you name it... always fun...
I was once watching an A. grandis patrolling. Every time he flew in front of me he slowed and looked like he was checking whatīs that. After couple of passes he decided that would be great perching place and landed on my upper lip...
By the way, Aeshna caerulea = Azure Hawker. The one here is Aeshna cyanea which is as you mentioned Southern Hawker. Azure Hawker is so different and itīs habitats are bogs, definitely not gardens